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When Does Social Capital Matter? Non-Searching for Jobs across the Life Course

Citation

McDonald, Steve & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (2006). When Does Social Capital Matter? Non-Searching for Jobs across the Life Course. Social Forces, 85(1), 521-549.

Abstract

Non-searchers--people who get their jobs without engaging in a job search--are often excluded from investigations of the role of personal relationships in job finding processes. This practice fails to capture the scope of informal job matching activity and underestimates the effectiveness of social capital. Moreover, studies typically obtain average estimates of social capital effectiveness across broad age ranges, obscuring variation across the life course. Analysis of early career and mid-career job matching shows that non-searching is associated with significant advantages over formal job searching. However, these benefits accrue only during mid-career and primarily among highly experienced male nonsearchers. The results highlight the need to examine life course variations in social capital effectiveness and the role of non-searching as an important informal mechanism in the maintenance of gender inequality.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sof.2006.0133

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2006

Journal Title

Social Forces

Author(s)

McDonald, Steve
Elder, Glen H., Jr.